Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011: the best year in film club history

I’ll toast to that. We’ve certainly had a great year and I would agree that it is the best in Film Club history thanks to the new additions. I can’t promise that I’ll be any less busy as far as rock n roll is concerned but I can promise to keep up the pace as much as possible. This is fun and fun things tend to get priority in my life. I love talking about film and consequently life with all of you even if we are wrapped up in a fierce disagreement. As John has already pointed out everyone brings something fresh to the table and can be counted on to rescue any given discussion with that unique perspective. If there is anything to learn in 2011 it’s that there are many ways to view film and evaluate it. I think Lisa taught us that the most.

As for my favorite moments of the year there are certainly too many to name but I’ll give it try. I tend to like our discussions of modern film more than the supposed golden age. This probably comes as a surprise as I have made no secret of my love and preference for everything pre-1970s. But when it comes to talking amongst ourselves I think the dialogue and excitement is more refreshing in regards to modern cinema. When I write something about an older film I’m just doing that to get it out of my system and I’ve noted that most people tend to ignore it when writing their own posts. But when a new film comes out we all get involved and evaluate our own opinions in light of each other’s observations. Basically I learn a lot just reading your perspective.

I really enjoyed Lisa bashing John and Jeff’s heads together during the TOL deforestation. I loved the MIDNIGHT IN PARIS debate between John and Jason even though I hadn’t seen the film at that point. Mel Gibson got the group chattering more than usual and even led to me thinking that Jeff was at the bridge pulling a George Bailey. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO had me on the ropes. DRIVE, a film that seems to evoke a fair amount of lively debate everywhere, had us all both impressed and bickering.

If I’ve learned anything from 2011 it’s that nobody should be ashamed to be that dissenting voice. It makes for good writing.

I’m currently making my top ten list and I hope it inspires some fiery debates as well as some fiery agreements. But before I go back to writing about some of the best films of 2011 I want to point out one big problem I had with John’s last post. He referred to me as the king and this simply isn’t the truth. Here is the brief story (from my POV) of how this wonderful gathering of nerds got started.

I was working at a place called Community Options working with developmentally disabled adults. I heard from my friend Justin that ACHIEVE was a far better agency in this particular field as it provided staff with more freedom and support. I applied and got the job. Before my first day I asked Justin who I would be working with and he told me that the guy’s name was John Owen. I followed that with “you are going to like him a lot. He knows a ton about movies, probably more than you do.” This immediately pissed me off. On my first day I wasted no time picking at my new boss’ brain (yes John was my boss at one point). I quickly realized that he was a huge Herzog fan and that he had a certain wary disdain for modern cinema. I made it my goal to change his mind about that and one film seemed to break down the wall, Paul Thomas Anderson’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

I was surprised to hear his reaction to this movie. He loved it. This was not typical John Owen reactions when discussing film. We later decided that we would start a little club where we would exchange movies and give them a star rating. The other guy would have to try and read their tastes based on what they thought of said film. For example I sent RAGING BULL John’s way thinking it was in the bag. John gave it two out of five stars and then we spent the whole day talking about why. He would send something like ANDREI RUBLEV home with me and I think I gave that one five out of five stars whilst complaining about the horse killing scene. This lasted for about four months and then John decided that he hated his job (this was due to really awful boss change).

At that point we would only be able to discuss film briefly which really bummed me out. Then one day John came into the room I was working in and created my blog account. He is the dumbass who came up with poopnoises.blogspot.com. He is the one who got this whole thing started. We began slow and sparse and my writing style was very lame indeed. I was tepid at first not wanting to disagree with John because of how well he could articulate an argument. I think it was LET THE RIGHT ONE IN that really started the John vs Brandon wars. I learned a lot about debate via John and now look at us.

So long boring story short, I’m not the king. John is the guy who came up with this great idea. He’s the one who encouraged me to write about film. So without getting too sappy I owe him a big thank you.

Ps, Black Death is soooooooo overrated.

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